The eleventh annual Christmas Festival was held this year on December 6 at the BAIC Farmers Market Park in Marsh Harbour.
Many people from all over Abaco attended the event which, as usual, offered many activities for young and old.
The Grand Opening of the event featured Minister of Tourism, Obie Wilchcombe, as the keynote speaker. He was introduced by Senator Gary Sawyer and MP for North Abaco Renardo Curry.
The first hours of the event from 12 noon to 2:30 pm were mostly dedicated to school children’s performances and activities, except for the Christmas wreaths decoration contest.
First, ECC performed a drum playing demonstration ending with Ronel Escarment doing a widely applauded solo. He was one of the National Art Festival Awardees.
Next the Angels Academy Choir sung a selection of songs in Spanish led by Mrs. Eva Adderley. They were followed by the dancers of JA Pinder Primary School in Sandy Point. Dressed in pink, the little girls re-enacted the dance that won them the first prize in their category at the National Arts Festival.
A favourite of previous Christmas Festivals, the wreath decorating contest, always brought volunteers eager to display their artistic talent. Six ladies, including a youngster, participated. They grabbed garlands and shiny Christmas balls and ribbons provided for them to dress their wreath; time was of the essence. They were watched diligently by three judges, as Emcee Shelley Austin commented. After a few minutes deliberation, the judges gave their verdict.
Later, all the children who had gathered in front of the podium rushed towards a golf cart carrying Santa Claus. As he struggled to throw candies on his path, he was mobbed by the crowd of kids trying to reach the goodies from the white-bearded man’s hands. After following Santa the children were surprised again at the announcement of presents being distributed at the Baker’s Bay stand. Soon they crowded around the stand and were ordered to form a double line that soon reached all the way to the street. Hundreds of presents were given away, compliments of the Great Guana Cay resort.
After the present distribution everyone gathered to watch the Grand Bahama Police Force Band perform.
And what a performance it was. For over half an hour, they marched to the tunes of popular Christmas songs. They then maneuvered, drilled and marched one way then the other to the delight of the crowd assembled on each side of the road shooting photos. The Grand Marshall even relinquished his baton to a spectator to execute a few moves.
Whoever was not interested in performances could patronize the many food stands loaded with Bahamian food and children could participate in other activities.
Of course there were also plenty of activities for adults.
Of special note earlier in the afternoon was the recognition given to Brenda Sawyer who has worked tirelessly with the Christmas Festival Committee each year to make the Festival a success.